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Tool Definitions

IH Cub Cadet Tractor Forum

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Well-known member
Aug 4, 2006
Steve Blunier "Mr. Plow" (Central IL)
The True Definition of Tools

DRILL PRESS: A tall upright machine useful for suddenly snatching flat metal bar stock out of your hands so that it smacks you in the chest and flings your beer across the room, splattering it against that freshly-stained heirloom piece you were drying.

WIRE WHEEL: Cleans paint off bolts and then throws them somewhere under the workbench with the speed of light. Also removes fingerprints and hard-earned guitar calluses from fingers in about the time it takes you to say, "Ouch...."

ELECTRIC HAND DRILL: Normally used for spinning pop rivets in their holes
until you die of old age.

PLIERS: Used to round off bolt heads. Sometimes used in the creation of blood-blisters.

HACKSAW: One of a family of cutting tools built on the Ouija board principle. It transforms human energy into a crooked, unpredictable motion, and the more you attempt to influence its course, the more dismal your future becomes.

VISE-GRIPS: Generally used after pliers to further round off bolt heads. If nothing else is available, they can also be used to transfer intense welding heat to the palm of your hand.
OXYACETYLENE TORCH: Used almost entirely for lighting various flammable objects in your shop on fire. Also handy for igniting the grease inside the wheel hub you want the bearing race out of.

WHITWORTH SOCKETS: Once used for working on older British cars and motorcycles, they are now used mainly for impersonating that 9/16 or 1/2 socket you've been searching for the last 15 minutes.

HYDRAULIC FLOOR JACK: Used for lowering an automobile to the ground after you have installed your new brake shoes, trapping the jack handle firmly under the bumper.

EIGHT-FOOT LONG DOUGLAS FIR 2X4: Used for levering an automobile upward off of a trapped hydraulic jack handle.

TWEEZERS: A tool for removing wood splinters and wire wheel wires.

E-Z OUT BOLT AND STUD EXTRACTOR: A tool ten times harder than any known drill bit that snaps off in bolt holes you couldn't use anyway.

TWO-TON ENGINE HOIST: A tool for testing the tensile strength on everything you forgot to disconnect.

CRAFTSMAN 1/2 x 16-INCH SCREWDRIVER: A large prybar that inexplicably has an accurately machined screwdriver tip on the end opposite the handle.


TROUBLE LIGHT: The home mechanic's own tanning booth. Sometimes called a drop light, it is a good source of vitamin D, "the sunshine vitamin," which is not otherwise found under cars at night. Health benefits aside, its main purpose is to consume 40-watt light bulbs at about the same rate that 105-mm howitzer shells might be used during, say, the first few hours of the Battle of the Bulge. More often dark than light, its name is somewhat misleading.

PHILLIPS SCREWDRIVER: Normally used to stab the vacuum seals under lids and for opening old-style paper-and-tin oil cans and splashing oil on your shirt; but can also be used, as the name implies, to strip out Phillips screw heads.

AIR COMPRESSOR: A machine that takes energy produced in a coal-burning power plant 200 miles away and transforms it into compressed air that travels by hose to a Chicago Pneumatic impact wrench that grips rusty bolts which were last over tightened 50 years ago by someone at Ford, and neatly rounds off their heads.

PRY BAR: A tool used to crumple the metal surrounding that clip or bracket you needed to remove in order to replace a 50 cent part.

HOSE CUTTER: A tool used to cut hoses too short.

HAMMER: Originally employed as a weapon of war, the hammer nowadays is used as a kind of divining rod to locate the most expensive parts not far from the object we are trying to hit.

MECHANIC'S KNIFE: Used to open and slice through the contents of cardboard cartons delivered to your front door; works particularly well on contents such as seats, vinyl records, liquids in plastic bottles, collector magazines, refund checks, and rubber or plastic parts. Especially useful for slicing work clothes, but only while in use.

DAMMIT TOOL: Any handy tool that you grab and throw across the garage while yelling "DAMMIT" at the top of your lungs. It is also the next tool that you will need.

EXPLETIVE: A balm, also referred to as mechanic's lube, usually applied verbally in hindsight, which somehow eases those pains and indignities following our every deficiency in foresight.
Good write up Steve...and so true in most cases, especially the DAMMIT tool.
Steve, How about the MFin', GD, and the SOBin' wrench set. That's the set you can never find when one hand is holding something and said wrench set is behind you someplace.
Here's an oldie that I shared with all of the computer techs that worked in my section..your post made me think of it for the first time in ages.

The Ten Commandments for Technicians
[*]Beware the lightning that lurketh in the un-discharged capacitor, lest it cause thee to bounce upon thy buttocks in a most untechnician-like manner.
[*]Cause thou the switch that supplieth large quantities of juice to be opened and thusly tagged, that thy days in this earthly vale of tears be long.
[*]Prove to thyself that all circuits that radiateth and upon which thou worketh are grounded and thusly tagged lest they cause thee to make like a radiator, too.
[*]Tarry not amongst those fools that engageth in intentional shocks, for surely they are non-believers and are not long for this world.
[*]Take care that thou useth the proper method when thou takest the measure of a high voltage circuit lest thou incinerate both thyself and thy meter.
[*]Take care thou tampereth not with safety devices and interlocks, for this incureth the wrath of thy supervisor and bringeth the fury of the safety inspector upon thy head and shoulders.
[*]Work thou not on energized equipment, for if thou dost, thy fellow workers will surely buy beers for thy widow and console her in other ways.
[*]Service thou not equipment alone, for electrical cooking is a slothful process and thou wilst sizzle in thine own juices until thy Maker sees fit to end thy misery.
[*]Trifle thou not with radioactive tubes and substances lest thou commence to glow like unto a lightning bug and thy wife have no further use for thee except thy wages.
[*]Thou shalt not make unauthorized modifications to equipment, but causeth thou to be recorded all field changes and authorized modifications made by thee lest thy successor tear his hair out and go slowly mad in his attempt to decide what manner of creature hath made a nest in the wiring of such equipment.

And just for Kentuck:

The 10 Welding Commandments.

1. Thou shalt not weld on an unpurged tank, for the noise will be very loud when the tank explodes and thy friends will console thy widow in ways generally unacceptable to thee.
2. Thou shalt secure thy tanks, lest one fall on thy foot and transform thee into less than a graceful dancer when called upon by thy wife or other female friend.
3. Thou shalt clean thy work carefully, lest thy gaze upon thy work falling apart as it passeth out of thy sight.
4. Thou shalt place thy work in jigs, or other holding fixtures, for the eye is a poor instrument for the measurement of angles and great will be the wrath of thy leader as thou art doing thy task a second time.
5. Thou shalt not weld near batteries, compressed gasses, or flammable materials lest a spark from thy labors would cause thee to continue thy chosen profession in an open field or other such drafty place.
6. Thou shalt take great care of thy tools and equipment, lest thy friend who is in charge of such things smites thee about thy head and shoulders for being a wastrel and a knave.
7. Thou shalt not perform thy art without proper ventilation, for the smell of toxic gasses produced by the heating of primers, and plated or painted sufaces is worse than a bad cigar and will remain with thee until the end of thy days.
8. Thou shalt not weld without goggles, nor shalt thou allow others to gaze upon thy labors, lest thy employment, or the employment of others be changed to sitting on cold and rainy streets while selling pencils.
9. Thou shalt wear sturdy gloves, for burns upon thy hands are a source of great pain when thou art attempting to raise thy bowling average.
10. Thou shalt ground thy work, when thou weldeth with a machine of arcs, for thou art a poor conductor of electricity and the shock which thou shalt receive shall ruin thy plans for thy weekend.

I hope to see more lists like yours, I enjoy 'em..
I have a few corrections to both Steve's and Gerry's post but just 3 for now.

A drill press bit will hang in a welding cable lug and pull your hand into it giving you a very good manicure and a stiff finger leaving you with 9 1/2 finger nails.
<font size="-2">Don't ask me how I know</font>

A torch is used for catching the gauze and cotton on fire that is in the cast of previously mentioned injury.
<font size="-2">Don't ask me how I know</font>

A torch tank(s) can be knocked over even when secured into a torch cart and onto the floor from previously mentioned fire.
<font size="-2">Don't ask me how I know</font>

Is there anything about a pipe wrench ... ????
A rotating Bush Hog PTO shaft ... ????
<font size="-2">Don't ask me how I know</font>
The wench thing is from a pair of Gary Larson cartoons featuring IIRC, one saying something like "no, dam.it, I said bring me a wrench" to the servant who has just dragged a "wench" in by the hair.. The other obviously featured a wrench in a similar picture. It sticks in my mind it was also in some movie <font size="-2">(memory strikes out here)</font>

Ken - I always dread drilling copper, especially lugs. My Dewalt will tear your arm almost off when it grabs. Bench vice rules.....
ELECTRIC HAND DRILL: Used to pull your long hair into the motor fan when drilling holes at shoulder height into concrete walls. Reversing drills are handy in such circumstances.
<font size="-2">Don't ask me how I know</font>

HYDRAULIC FLOOR JACK: Good for punching up through the frame on a '68 'Camino while your buddy is underneath. It helps to have good hearing to hear the first signs of cracking and lightening reflexes to jerk his butt out in time.
<font size="-2">Don't ask me how I know</font>

SCREWDRIVER: Good for using as a punch in emergencies with a BFH and going through your finger.
<font size="-2">Don't ask me how I know</font>

DAMMIT TOOL: A Bosch jig saw used while cutting aluminum. Three days later upon retrieval you find the blade is still intact and cuts the next piece you feed it into.
I might endorse Bosch as a supersonic flight 25 feet through mid air landing in a pile of hydraulic cylinders seems to have any ill effects on them.
<font size="-2">Don't ask me how I know</font>

PIPE WRENCHES 36" STEEL : When you can not get a sheared shear bolt out of a Bush Hog PTO shaft because it has galled up from shearing to many shear bolts and the two halves will not budge to line up the hole, DO NOT run PTO then turn off and wait for the revolution to get down to almost nil then slap said 36" pipe wrench onto shaft to hold one half of it to break it free with the help of the stump jumper rotating the other half of the shaft.
Doing so will immediately bring your thumb and some hard steel surface of the Bush Hog into painful contact with one another with said 36" pipe wrench pinning your crushed and shattered thumb knuckle to the Bush Hog.
Upon pulling your thumb out of this dire situation and gazing past the blood and meat you will see that said smashed thumb can not make up it's mind if it wants to go east or west as from the tip end to the first knuckle it appears to be going in both directions.
<font size="-2">Don't ask me how I know</font>


Gerry - #10 is a riot when you see it like I did one day.

The guy that use to be down the road with a machine shop use to get me to help get him caught up on his lathe work at times. (a nice 24"x12' SB)

His youngest son about 17 I think was working on their roundy round track car at the shop door welding a front bumper on. The kid had a bottom lip full of dip and his lip was stuck out like Tyson had landed one on him.
He put the MIG ground on the bumper and held it up in place bare handed and without a hood on was going to tack it in place. His bulging lip was just touching the bumper when he hit the trigger ... I could see the spark jump from his lip and I was 20 feet away.
He dropped the bumper ...

Now that proves to me that he wasn't a welder as I've had my acid eaten coveralls burn almost completely off me before I got the weld finished so that I could then fight the fire.

Work before personal business !
Ken - To the casual observer, you sound like a shop hazard! Have you considered taking up knitting instead of shop-related tasks? Knit Cub seat covers, dash mats, etc...

Lip - I've been real busy all night and didn't get a chance to come back and put in my disclaimer.

Disclaimer: I am not accident prone, I am a safety inspector. I try to get injured and mangled so that others can learn from my expertise.

I also but am not limited to ;
Testing the medical response teams.
Testing the longevity of the glue on bandages.
Testing the fire retardant or lack of retardant in cotton and gauze.
Testing the time to burn 1 leg and partial torso of acid eaten denim coveralls.
Testing the grip strength of Rigid pipe wrenches.
Testing the impact resistance of torch tanks hitting concrete.

oh crap! I just broke my wrist typing ... call the WAMBULANCE !!!
Ken, you should write a book called 'Don't ask me how I know...'.<font size="-2">(I might have to put on a Depends in case I 'distress' myself with hysterical laughter.)
Allen, so would your small print have been a place to add "don't ask me how I know"
GERRY - I have a "SPECIAL" Dewalt just for that purpose, LINK

When a bit in that drill grabs it does one of two things, breaks the bit even if it's a 1/2" bit, but mostly twists the drill out of your hands faster than you can blink, and winds the cord up aroung the drill body even with the added side handle, which I ALWAYS use on that drill. The "normal" version of that drill only has two-stg gearing and is 0-850 RPM. But Nooooo, I had to get the arm-breaker!

Dad had a 1/2" MALL drill, all cast aluminum case, single speed, about 150-200 RPM, removable 3/4" pipe handle, probably early 1940's vintage. ANY time we used it we planned the excape route to get away from it before we ever plugged it in. We mostly used it to raise the landing platform on the mounted corn picker, the picker had ACME threaded rods about three feet long that we used it to raise, and since it was NOT reversable, had to manually lower to take the picker off.
When you have hair like this you don't hold an electric drill at shoulder height ...


That was around '83 - '85

Disclaimer: For any anti-gun ppl the NRA stands for No Riders Allowed
Jeremiah, Ken has posted a few old photos of himself over the years. Here's a thread I started a year or so ago with some old photos titled simply: OLD PHOTOS Would be a good place to post old photos of the way we looked back then, or feel free to start a new thread.
Kraig, I love the photo of you on the Arctic Cat. Nice machine. You seem a thoughtful type.

To keep up with you two, I suppose I'll have to dig out my old cab driver's license from the mid-70's. Like Steve Martin, I look like one "wild and crazy guy" (or at least I thought so back then.)

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